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How to NOT Seem Desperate in Your Job Search

After a few months of job searching, desperation can start to creep in.  You begin to wonder if anyone will ever want to hire you.  It is important that you address these feelings as they will be another barrier in your quest to find a job.  If employers sense that you are desperate, they might offer you a lower salary or wonder if there is something wrong with you that they are not seeing.  Here are some steps that you can take to prevent employers from perceiving you as desperate:

Don't apply to all the jobs at one company.  If you are applying to every job that the company is hiring for regardless of the requirements, you will give the employer the impression that you are willing to take anything.  While you may think that this makes you look flexible, it actually makes you look like you have no other options and possibly no career goals.  A better approach is to focus on the positions that are a good fit for your skills and interests.  You will be more likely to get an interview and you won't turn off the employer. 

Customize your resume.  When you customize your resume for each position, you are able to demonstrate how you are a strong fit for the job.  This shows the employer that you have taken the time to carefully review the job description and that you are not just blasting the same resume out to 500 employers.

Don't follow up too much.  Calling the employer a week after the interview to follow up shows that that you are proactive; calling the employer on a daily basis is annoying and makes you look like you lack social skills.  Call them once or twice to express an interest in the job and then be confident that the employer will want to call you back.  

Only consider jobs that meet your needs.  Before you invest too much time into a potential opportunity, stop to consider whether or not this is actually a good opportunity for you.  Would the salary meet your needs?  Are your values consistent with the organizational culture?  Do the expectations of the job work well with your lifestyle?  Are you excited about this opportunity?  A job interview goes both ways; use it to determine if you would actually want to work there. 

Know your own value.  Job searching is tough on the ego.  It brings all of your insecurities and weaknesses to the forefront and often we start to feel like nobody would ever be interested in hiring us.  To combat these feelings, it is helpful to compile a list of your strengths (with examples) and to review it on a regular basis.  Do a little research and try to identify your superpowers (the skills that you possess that employers need).  You are not begging for a job; you are bringing valuable skills to the employer.

People will usually give you about as much respect as you give yourself.  If you believe in your skills and you believe in the process, the right opportunity will come along. 


(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Imagery Majestic at